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19. Chipping Away

“Turn the brights off, crazy, you’ll blind someone.” Hawke yells at me from the passenger seat.

I throw him a quick glare before turning them off.

I’m not used to driving Patrick’s car and often forget how it works. After the concert ended, we made our way back home. Patrick asked if he could lay down in back to catch up on some sleep. The sleep I’d been keeping from him with the apparent wild and crazy sex.

Hawke was more than willing to let him take the back so he could take the front with me. I groaned at the thought.

Not only was he a horrible back seat driver, as you call them, he was also throwing little sexual innuendos in at every opportunity. I’m kind of over this asshole side of Hawke at the moment. I, however, wouldn’t mind seeing Cameron again.

Hearing Patrick lightly snoring in the back was the only thing keeping my head from spinning off inside of this car.

“So tell me, have you always liked christian rock?” he asks, playing with one of his rings on his finger.

I look over at him with knit brows and a twisted face. “No.”

He laughs, showing off his white teeth.

“To be honest, you might be surprised at the last concert I went to,” I reply.

“Oooh, okay, let me guess.” he sits up in the seat, facing me. “Jonas Brothers.”

I give him my best ‘c’mon, seriously’ face.

“Okay, not Jonas Brothers, how about...Kelly Clarkson?”

“Jesus, you really think I’m a square, huh?”

“I mean...yeah.” He shrugs.

“Screw off. No, the last concert I went to was last summer, RockFest, I went to see Disturbed with my sister.”

Hawke looks over at me like I said the most outlandish thing he’s ever heard.

“Disturbed!? You!? I don’t believe it.”

“Well believe it, because it’s true.”

“Damn, I had no idea you got down with the sickness,” he replies, gazing through the front windshield, still in shock.

“Yep. I get stupified.” I comment, adding to his humor.

He chuckles to himself muttering unbelievable beneath his breath.

“How old’s your sister?” he asks, changing the subject.

“She’s two years older than me. Her name’s Johanna. We couldn’t be any more different, but at least we bond over music.” I shrug.

“So she’s wild and reckless and you’re cool and calculated.” He smiles.

“Pretty much.” I laugh at the accuracy in that. “Has it been hard for you? Being an only child?” I ask with compassion in my tone.

He’d mentioned to me that he was an only child in our couch conversations, only him and his dad for a while before he passed.

“You mean, has it been hard to be on my own with no one to have my back through some of the shittiest times in my life?” He pauses for a moment, looking at the dashboard. “Yeah, it has.”

My heart breaks for him.

“Well siblings aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be. Hell, when I told Johanna about you moving in, the only thing she could think about was that she was dying to visit to—” I stop myself from finishing the sentence.

Remembering our conversation last week, I realize I should’ve never brought this up.

Hawke becomes intrigued. “Dying to visit to do what?” He smirks, trouble twinkling in his eyes.

“Forget I said anything.”

“She wants to fuck my brains out? Lay it all on me? Get some good dick with the bad boy roommate for the night?” he asks, making me blush at his crude use of verbiage.


“So when is she visiting?”

I smack his chest with my free hand making him chuckle, then turn to the back seat. Patrick is still knocked out.

“I mean if she looks anything close to you, I’d call it a win.”

I blush at his comment, attempting not to smile.

“She’s way better looking,” I admit.

He stares at me from the corner of my eye, clearly taking inventory of the woman sitting next to him, possibly running down memory lane of my naked body in his bed. This is beyond uncomfortable.

“Doubtful,” he says confidently. “But I guess it’s better than nothing.”

“So classy.” I scoff at his joke.

“What, would that bother you?” he asks in a softer tone.

“What? You fucking my sister?”

I turn to face him and he waits with a cocked brow. I sigh, facing the front again. Thinking about it for a moment I realize it would bother me. But it shouldn’t. I’m with Patrick, I have no claims to this man, nor do I ask for any, but if I’m being honest with myself it does bother me. The problem is, I can’t seem to be honest with him.

“No. Why would it? I’m in a serious relationship and you’re free to fuck whoever you want, like you have been.”

He’s silent for a moment. Not retorting with some smart ass comment like normal. My eyes slowly look over at him and find he’s looking out of the windshield with a strange look about him. I suddenly regret my decision to not speak my truth.

After a moment of silence he speaks, “You don’t really expect me to believe that, do you?”

I look over at him and his cocky smirk is back like it never left.

“Alright,” I begin, checking the back seat in the rearview mirror, then speaking softly, “It would bother me. A little. There. Is that what you wanted to hear? Are you happy now?”

He places his hands on the top of his head, kicking the seat back and slouching down with a content sigh. “Yep.”

I roll my eyes at his smugness. He baited me, I was honest, and now I feel like a fool.

“Don’t you have enough women on your plate awaiting a call?” I ask with a condescending tone.

“None that beg for it like you do,” he whispers in a hoarse voice, his grin, growing by the second.

“Oh my god, piss off.”

He laughs, then toys with his lip ring. I know he loves getting under my skin, it literally gives him a hard on.

“You’re a firecracker and you don’t even know it. But it’s okay, I’m patient.” He gives me a light head nod.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means you don’t even know who you are, yet you seemingly hold yourself back. I don’t get it. But I’ll be here when you figure it out.”

His words hit something deep inside of me. The thought has crossed my mind before. Wondering if I’m living a lie. Wondering if this life I’ve been so set on planning out is truly what I need or if it’s just become a habit. A comfortable habit that soothes me. How he can just see through me like this, it bothers me.

“Says the guy who holds everything in and fucks anything walking.”

He chuckles, then his face grows somber. “That’s...different.”

I look over at him and he’s staring at me side-eyed through his dark lashes. I see the sadness inside of him. In a look, I can feel that he’s hurting in a place he doesn’t let anyone see. Maybe he can feel I see a different side to him. He has this thing about him where he looks like he wants to tell me something, but is stopped by a force out of his control. Like he’s praying I’ll just guess it so he doesn’t have to tell me.

“Okay, so we’ve established that you like to fuck around.” I try to continue some sort of conversation.

“I don’t fuck around that much,” he says.

“Oh, only with that one skinny brunette chick I walked in on. Or maybe the redhead at the door. Oh, no! I bet it meant something with that blonde curvy girl. Yep, I bet it was something special with her.” I taunt him like he taunts me.

“You know, you pay pretty close attention for someone who supposedly doesn’t care. You must think a lot about it.” He smirks, and I see the playfulness is back.

I hear Patrick continue snoring behind me.

“I don’t think about it at all.” I smile smugly, lying through my teeth.

I haven’t stopped thinking about it.

“It’s okay if you wanna think about me when you...you know,” he comments quietly, looking to the backseat, then back at me with that devilishly, wicked grin.

My mouth drops open as I gasp at his crudeness.

He sits up in his seat, leaning into me, brushing the hair back behind my ear while cautiously keeping an eye on the backseat. I swallow at his closeness, closing my eyes at his touch, trying my best not to move and stay focused before I steer this car off the road.

“Because I guarantee I’ll be thinking about you, wrapped tightly around me, cumming around my cock, as I jerk off in the shower tonight,” he whispers, his lip ring tickling my ear.

My chest is rising and falling fast as his words intoxicate me again. Lust filled seduction. This is what he does, he gets the reaction out of me. No, not again.

“P-put, put your seatbelt on!” I stutter all breathless and flustered.

Why do his words tickle me between my legs? He opens his mouth and I just want to do bad things. I need him impulsively and I can’t stand it. He does things to my hormones that I can’t mentally process. He’s bad. He’s bad for me. He’s a horrible temptation that I can’t be around.

“It’s on.” He chuckles playfully, clearly laughing at my inability to speak.

“I supposed you’re making up for lost time though, like Kid said.” I comment, regarding his sexual escapades.

“What?” He snaps upright. “What did he tell you about me?”

His tone changed from playful to angry in a matter of seconds.

“Only that you were making up for the last five years with all these women.”

He looks out the side window, running his hand through his hair as he blows out air.

“It’s not like that.” he says in a direct tone, facing the road.

“It’s cool. It’s just sex. It means nothing, right?” I reply, using his words with a bit of a sarcastic edge to it.

I’m not forgetting the fact that after what we did he said it meant nothing. As bad as the situation is, it still meant something to me, even if I haven’t figured out what that something is yet.

He scoffs then shakes his head, almost looking annoyed.

“It can mean something sometimes,” he whispers after a slight pause, looking down at his rings again. He looks back up at me with a tight jaw and a sad expression, like what he's about to say hurts him in an unexplainable way. “It meant something with you.”

His hand brushes against mine on the console, his pinky finger crossing over onto mine. The tiny gesture speaks volumes and instantly makes me feel emotional. I gaze back at him and feel the weight of timing and how it changes everything.

“It meant something to me too.” I sigh, being honest.

Patrick grunts from behind us, shifting in his sleep and Hawke immediately sucks in a breath and pulls away from the contact. The feeling...so final, as if we'd both finally admitted there was something real there, but acknowledged timing had taken away what we'd only just found.

We finally got back to the house, the rest of the ride filled with silent questions. Questions that flogged my head. I felt more lost than ever, like my head and my heart weren’t aligned like they once were. I was torn.

“Home, sweet home,” Hawke says sarcastically before getting out of the car and jogging into the place.

I can’t help but to watch him as he casually makes his way through the door. He’s so effortlessly together. Confident, sexy. It’s really unfair how I see it even in the way he lightly jogs. He’s hot, there’s just no denying it.

I put the car in park and unbuckled my belt, turning to wake up Patrick. Heading inside the house, I head to our bedroom, changing into something more comfortable when he comes up behind me. “Sorry I fell asleep on you. I’ve been so tired lately.”

I turn to face him. His sweet smile greeting me, his hands wrapping around my waist. What am I doing? I’m just awful.

“I love you, Patrick.” I confess, holding his face in my hands, feeling the weight of guilt again.

How could I do this to him? He’s been nothing but sweet and amazing. He tries so hard to make things better in my life and what do I do? I act like a child, impulsively acting out, doing whatever I want, no matter who it hurts.

“I love you, too.” he smiles back, his kind eyes like a knife to my heart. “I’m so happy with you and how things are...”

I swallow a huge lump that’s caught in my throat, feeling nothing but regret. It’s breaking my heart, knowing what I’ve done to him. He doesn’t deserve this. I need to figure this shit out and be done with it.

“I just want you to know that even if I’m going to be gone more, it’s all for you, for us.”

“Wait, what?”

He sits down on the bed, pulling me to join him. Not this again.

“I have another trip coming up.”

My heart sinks.

“Just a couple days again. Back in Colorado.” He pauses, looking at me with a sorrowful face. “Are you mad at me?”

“What am I supposed to say, Patrick. I can’t do anything about it. If I complain, then I’m an annoying girlfriend who’s being selfish, and if I don’t, then I suffer internally.” I run a hand through my hair, pulling it at the roots.

“I know it isn’t easy. But I’m trying to set up a life for us.”

“A life where you’re on the road all the time and I’m alone? Maybe that’s what your mom signed up for with your dad but I never once expected this. This was never part of your plan. I thought you hated your dad being on the road when you were growing up. That’s never something I wanted. I wanted you. That’s why I moved here, that’s why I left my life back home, to be here with you, not by myself. You said it would be different.”

“I know. I know you gave up everything. I know you don’t have anyone here.” He grabs my hands, pulling them into his lap. “But I’m the one who’s supporting your life choices. And I need this job to do that. I’m starting at the bottom, even if it’s my father’s company, and working my way up. To do that I have to do bottom level work.”

He’s doing it again. Making me feel like nothing without knowing it. I understand he’s the breadwinner between us, but life to me isn’t all about the looks and the money. I don’t care about showing off wealth, I don’t need the latest fashion or newest car, I don’t need the biggest house on the block. I just wanted something real.

“I leave next weekend but I took some days off so we can spend more time together.” He shifts his head so he can look at me with his adorable smile.

“You did?” I ask eagerly, feeling filled with a sliver of joy.

He’s trying. He’s compromising for me. And I don’t even deserve him.

“Yep, and I might even have a little date planned for us.”

“Patrick,” I hold back my emotions. “Really?”

“Just trying to keep you happy.” He wrinkled his nose all cute while ruffling my hair.

We snuggle up and cuddle in bed together the rest of the night, just the two of us, holding one another, watching some Netflix show on my laptop like we used to. I'm hopeful for something more, hopeful for some sort of change between us. Being here with him feels comforting, even if I don’t deserve it.

I fall into a deep sleep before I can even tell if the water in the bathroom ever turned on.

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